Social Media: News - Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:34 pm on 11th January 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Kidron Baroness Kidron Crossbench 5:34 pm, 11th January 2018

I would like to be the first member of the data users union proposed by the noble Lord, Lord Knight. I hope that other noble Lords would like to join me. It is an excellent idea. In my excitement at starting the debate I forgot to declare my interests as set out in the register, including that as founder of 5Rights.

I think it is fair to say that you could characterise our feeling towards online services and social media as a combination of loving someone who is behaving badly, the frustration with an 18 year-old who does not quite know that they have grown up and is supposed to behave in a different way, and a palpable fury at corporate indifference on certain important subjects. However, it is too easy to just look at it that way. All those things are true and I share all those views, and I thank all noble Lords who have spoken in this fantastically interesting and progressive debate. However, what I heard most was our failure to articulate an ethical standard by which we want the industry to behave so that we can then meet it halfway. That was what came out of today’s excellent debate—questions of democracy, accountability, transparency, monopoly, tax regimes, codes of conduct and global consensus on governance. These are matters for society. If we are to have the society that lives by the values we want, we have to show leadership. I say to the Minister that I think the Government are showing leadership, which I welcome. I again thank all noble Lords for their contributions. This has been, by all standards, a wonderful debate.

Motion agreed.